Remember when a group of automakers, including Toyota and General Motors, got together to sue California over emissions requirements? It worked out great for all of them, with every company abandoning the suit, but now it seems Toyota’s truly come full circle: The company has put out a full corporate PR statement, acknowledging the validity of CARB and California emissions.
The release, creatively titled Toyota’s Statement on Its Alignment with CARB and the State of California on GHG Reduction and Carbon Neutrality Goals, is short and sweet. It doesn’t delve into emissions-reducing plans or talk about the Prius or Camry hybrid. All it does is swear fealty to the state of California and its emissions-regulating California Air Resources Board.
The statement simply lists various ways in which Toyota now agrees with California regulations, and actually has no issue with them at all. The company says it shares “the vision of GHG reduction and carbon neutrality goals with CARB and the State” and that it has “acknowledged CARB’s leadership in climate policies and its authority to set vehicle emissions standards under the Clean Air Act.” Essentially, Toyota’s “Of course CARB is the leading authority on emissions” t-shirt is prompting a lot of questions that are already answered by its t-shirt.
Whether this statement is enough to rejoin California’s good graces remains to be seen. The company’s 2019 suit tried to stop the state from settings its own emissions regulations above and beyond that of the federal government, and that sting my last a while. But if Toyota, the brand that largely brought hybrids into the American mainstream with the Prius, can atone for that sin, maybe there’s room for it on Californian coastal roads once more.